Interpol and Music Tastes Good happened this weekend. Here’s why that matters – Los Angeles Times

Ween fans rule Music Tastes Good festival on a day with pointed messages from Slaves and Protomartyr

By Randall Roberts

Wearing a dark suit jacket and mismatched pants, holding a cigarette in one hand and a cup of beer in the other, lead barker and could-be middle-manager Joe Casey of Detroit band Protomartyr wasn’t about to let the Pacific breeze soften his message on the first day of the Music Tastes Good food and music festival in Long Beach.

As seagulls shot past a drone humming overhead, Protomartyr, performing in support of its excellent new record, “Relatives in Descent,” triggered hardened post-punk frequencies that seemed to penetrate the wind like bullets through feathers. Casey sang of “vomit and rage spewing forth in the drive-thru,” of “fussing and fighting eternally” and of “false news beamed right in — male plague!”

With the deadpan misanthropy of “American Splendor” writer Harvey Pekar or Charles Bukowski, Protomartyr’s Casey looked at the modest crowd during this second installment of Music Tastes Good and uttered, “False happiness is piled high” as the band — distorted guitar, looping bass and minimalist, snare-heavy drum patterns — crafted punk tones that echoed with jagged remnants of Joy Division and Interpol.

It was indeed a lovely day for tunes near the ocean, where Long Beach- and Torrance-born punk band Joyce Manor, joke rock iconoclasts Ween, Cameroonian expat Laetitia Tamko (who records as Vagabon), Argentine experimental pop artist and actress Juana Molina and glam-fueled L.A. outfit Diane Coffee performed Saturday.


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